Scott McClellan’s new book has White House in an uproar.

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s new tell-all book What Happened, about his time working in the Bush Administration, has created quite the shit storm over the past few days. The news media have been lapping up revelations such as this one on Bush’s real motivation for starting a war with Iraq:

In Iraq, McClellan added, Bush saw “his opportunity to create a legacy of greatness,” something McClellan said Bush has said he believes is only available to wartime presidents.

The president’s real motivation for the war, he said, was to transform the Middle East to ensure an enduring peace in the region. But the White House effort to sell the war as necessary due to the stated threat posed by Saddam Hussein was needed because “Bush and his advisers knew that the American people would almost certainly not support a war launched primarily for the ambitions purpose of transforming the Middle East,” McClellan wrote.

“Rather than open this Pandora’s Box, the administration chose a different path — not employing out-and-out deception, but shading the truth,” he wrote of the effort to convince the world that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, an effort he said used “innuendo and implication” and “intentional ignoring of intelligence to the contrary.”

“President Bush managed the crisis in a way that almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option,” McClellan concluded, noting, “The lack of candor underlying the campaign for war would severely undermine the president’s entire second term in office.”

Stuff like that has led for some pundits to raise the possibility of impeachment. Meanwhile the Bush Administration and its supporters are attempting to discredit McClellan as best as they can:

Dana Perino, who graces McClellan’s old podium, issued a statement calling him “disgruntled” and wondering what happened to “the Scott we knew.”

Privately, the whispers from other outraged Bush partisans are even more dismissive: he was never up to the job so we had to get rid of him; he wasn’t in the room when key decisions were made; he became press secretary only because the President he’s betrayed was more loyal than his ungrateful Judas.

But McClellan’s inside-the-bunker revelations are even more withering precisely because of his pedigree. Of all the Bush true believers, Scotty was the least likely to write a kiss-and-tell memoir.

The thing is that none of this should be news to anyone who’s been paying attention over the past 6 years. McClellan is just confirming a lot of what has already been known or suspected for years. When the WMoDS were no where to be found the Administration trotted out a lot of different bullshit excuses and justifications for the war including the idea that Iraq would be a shining beacon of Democracy in the Middle East that would lead to its spread throughout the region. The idea that Bush bought into his own deceptions should be no surprise to anyone who has watched him answer questions from the press. It’s clear he believes what he’s saying in spite of reality and his method of constantly repeating the same falsehoods over and over again is as much to convince himself as any of us. We knew, or should have known, all of this before the 2004 election and yet the majority of people in this country opted to elect him again. The situation we find ourselves in today is a direct result of our own collective stupidity.

As much as I would personally love to see Bush and his crew impeached and brought up on war crime charges, the damage has already been done and there’d be little to gain from it other than perhaps heading off a possible attack on Iran by this administration. Considering how long impeachment proceedings take chances are he’d be out of office before they were resolved anyway. It’s also doubtful that, in an election year, the Republicans would allow such proceedings to take place simply because of the negative publicity it would bring to the party. We’ll just have to ride out the last few months and hope that Bush doesn’t do anything else particularly stupid in the time remaining.

But none of this should be a surprise to anyone. At least not to anyone who’s been paying attention.

11 thoughts on “Scott McClellan’s new book has White House in an uproar.

  1. Scott McClellan is such a light-weight and an idiot.  The President talked candidly in front of Scott and Scott stabbed him in the back.

    If you don’t want to see how the sausage is made, then don’t go in the kitchen.

  2. If you don’t want to see how the sausage is made, then don’t go in the kitchen.

    But if you’re force-fed the rotten sausage, you bloody well want to know what shit you’re eating. Who gives a damn if the butcher gets backstabbed by an apprentice. Let me weep some crocodile’s tears.

    Doesn’t this explanation sound more lunatic than greed for oil? Or was it a case of one wanting the oil and the other lusting for glory?

  3. So Troy, a republican telling the truth is equivalent to stabbing the president in the back?  Makes sense in the twisted mind of a modern American shitbird, I guess. 
    I’ve never been naive enough to expect much moral fortitude or rational thought from most people, but the last eight years are an all-time low.  How much death and destruction is too much for you?  How many people have to die to glorify a mass-murderer before it’s too much for you? 
    Fuck it.  At this point, talking to a Bush supporter
    is like talking to an abused wife who won’t leave her husband.  Enjoy your genocide and thievery.

      If every last neo-con and Bush supporter were Raptured off the planet tomorrow, I would actually believe in God.  If the same result happened by way of the gun, I would actually believe in justice.  Ignorant, over-privileged war loving Americans have done more damage to this country than any outside enemy could.

  4. There isn’t much McClellan could say that would surprise me. It’s just more confirming than anything else. Ah, okay. Now we have a republican insider confirming what went on.

    To any conservative wanting to leave a comment, ask yourself what Scott’s motivation is. To clear his own name of a possible shit storm coming is the only thing that makes sense to me…

  5. I guess it’s no surprise that they’re trying to discredit McClellan instead of refuting what he says (beyond saying “It’s not true” of course)  Standard Republican “shoot the messenger” tactic.

    None of the stuff he’s saying is new.  The Liberals have been saying this since day one, so why would the Whitehouse be freaking out about this?  Why would they care unless this could hurt them?  On the other hand, why would they care even if it could.  It’s not like they’re going to get another term or anything.

  6. The President talked candidly in front of Scott and Scott stabbed him in the back.

    Let me see if I can get what you’re saying straight. Scott McClellan should have more personal loyalty to Bush than he has an obligation to inform the American public on the office of President? Exactly when should the public be informed if they’re being led astray by someone in office then? It sounds like you’re saying that folks employed by the government have an obligation of loyalty to individuals rather the offices they’re holding. Loyalty to individuals over the laws of the country and the Constitution maybe too? Exactly how far off base does your government supervisor have to be before you’re allowed to tell the public afterwards that you disagree with him and why?

  7. Scott McClellan should have more personal loyalty to Bush than he has an obligation to inform the American public on the office of President?

    There was a time and place when duty to the Führer came first.

  8. Or to give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he found himself a prestigious, important position in government and job security was more important at the time than principles. Yes, it’s still lame, but everyone else in the White House is still screwing over the country in the name of their principles.

  9. Here’s Kelso’s take:

    In the book, McClellan blisters the president for taking the country into an unnecessary war, which at this point is kind of like noticing there’s a walrus in the hot tub. Bush’s aides are saying that if McClellan disagreed with the president, he should have spoken up back then.

    Why? Like Bush was going to listen to him. He hasn’t listened to anybody else who disagrees with him. Why would he start with his press secretary, who is hired to go on national TV and puke up whatever kooky la la the administration tells him to?

    The book says the president ignored the intelligence that said the war would be a disaster and started it anyway because he thought only wartime presidents achieve “a legacy of greatness.”

    Greatness? Here’s Bush’s legacy: a national debt of $9.4 trillion; a worldwide lack of trust in the U.S. government; a dollar so weak it’s changed the meaning of the expression, “Your money’s no good around here, mister”; and an economy so lame that in tony Santa Barbara, Calif., they’ve created special overnight parking lots for people who have lost their homes and have to spend the night sleeping in their cars.

    In the ‘30s, it was the Hooverville cardboard box home. In Bushville, it’s the back seat of the Volvo. That’s Bush’s legacy. And I’d like to thank Scott McClellan for having the guts to step up and tell it like it is. I just wish he’d discovered his nerve before everybody else already had it figured out. But better last than never.

  10. I’d like to think part of his motivation was a guilty conscious, but that’s my optimistic side speaking.

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